Brian Rooney, Suspect in Michelle Gardner-Quinn case, due in Court on Separate Sex Charge from 1998


Where have he heard this before? A suspect being arrested on a separate charge when considered the primary suspect in another. However, one wonders why Brian Rooney was not charged with these crimes from 1998. Maybe if they had, Brian Rooney would have been in jail and already registered as a sex offender. Instead he was free to walk the  streets

Brian Rooney, 36, will be arraigned today from an incident from Essex County, VT where he was charged with a sexual assault on, and lewd and lascivious conduct with, a minor.

Where have we also heard that the primary suspect in a missing person/murder case was the last known person with the victim?

Read the full story at Missing & Exploited.

Posted October 16, 2006 by
Crime, Sex Offender | 11 comments

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Brian Rooney Pleads Not Guilty in the Strangulation of Michelle Gardner-Quinn
  • Rooney Officially Charged in Gardner-Quinn Murder
  • Brian Rooney, Suspected Murderer of Michelle Gardner-Quinn, Was Sexual Predator According to Court Papers
  • Think Crimes are all that Different? Compare and Contrast Circumstances … Amazing what a Real Investigation Gets You.
  • Jury Convicts Brian Rooney Guilty of Rape & Murder UVM Student Michelle Gardner-Quinn

  • Comments

    11 Responses to “Brian Rooney, Suspect in Michelle Gardner-Quinn case, due in Court on Separate Sex Charge from 1998”

    1. Miss-Underestimated on October 16th, 2006 12:24 pm

      Maybe someone could explain that to Michelle’s parents.
      Time to either enforce or change the laws dealing with these creeps.

      It’s like to zoo is running the zookeeppers.

      You’ll serve more time for stealing a loaf of bread. Doesn’t it appear some of the judges will protect things over people?

    2. Richard on October 16th, 2006 4:02 pm

      There was a public outcry when one of our esteemed Vermont judiciary, name of Judge Cashman, gave a six-month sentence to some scumbag who had repeatedly sexually abused an underage girl. This took place over the time of YEARS.

      Reason for the sentence? Something about the judge’s wanting to make sure that he got counseling. I don’t recall the details, but if he got a life term or something like that, he wouldn’t be eligible for counseling.

      Now, is that putting the interests of the guilty at the top of the pole or not? The girl’s mother aptly said, “What about my daughter’s rights?”

      I remember that Bill O’Reilly called for tourists to boycott Vermont (!), an argument which drew a lot of scorn up here.

      My own opinion is that just as we have the right to boycott Aruba in response to their handling of the Natalee Holloway case, anyone who wants to boycott Vermont can do so. However, just staying away won’t make the point; they should let it be known why they are doing that.

      Trouble is, if you boycott every state whose courts do something you don’t like … where can you live?

      Anyway, Cashman increased the sentence to something like three years, I believe. I can post the article here if anyone wants to read it.

    3. Richard on October 17th, 2006 6:53 am

      Rooney denies sex charges and involvement with Gardner-Quinn killing
      October 17, 2006
      Burlington Free Press

      ST. JOHNSBURY — The man Burlington police are calling their chief suspect in the kidnapping and killing of University of Vermont senior Michelle Gardner-Quinn pleaded not guilty Monday in St. Johnsbury to unrelated sexual-assault charges.

      Brian L. Rooney, 36, also denied any involvement in the disappearance of Gardner-Quinn, a 21-year-old senior from Arlington, Va. She vanished Oct. 7 in downtown Burlington — Rooney was the last person to see her alive, police say — and her body was found Friday at the Huntington Gorge in Richmond.

      Court papers describe Rooney as a sexual predator who repeatedly used chemical-soaked rags to incapacitate a teenage girl and a woman before having sexual intercourse with them in the late 1990s. The woman was a willing partner who would have consented to Rooney’s advances; the teenager was raped, according to police.

      “We have an individual who was preying on younger and weaker victims,” said the prosecutor, Assistant Vermont Attorney General Matthew Levine.

      Court-appointed defense attorney David Sleigh said the sex charges were exaggerated and filed only to keep Rooney in jail while a homicide investigation continues to develop in Burlington.

      “It gives them a vehicle to keep my client in custody,” Sleigh said.

      Rooney, whom police describe as a Richmond resident but who most recently lived in Winooski, told police he allowed Gardner-Quinn, a stranger, to make a call on his cell phone at about 2 a.m. the day she vanished. Then he walked partway up Main Street with her toward UVM, several steps captured on a downtown surveillance camera at 2:34 a.m., before he veered off to his car, Rooney told investigators.

      “He advised that he separated with Gardner-Quinn at that point, and he never saw her again,” wrote Detective Sgt. James Claremont of the Vermont State Police in a sworn affidavit filed Monday in St. Johnsbury. “Rooney denied having any knowledge or involvement in Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance.”

      Prosecutors have yet to file formal charges against Rooney in the slaying of the college student, but city and state police said Monday those accusations are likely within a week. An autopsy conducted over the weekend prompted police to officially classify Gardner-Quinn’s death a homicide, but authorities released no additional details Monday on how, when or where the woman was slain.

      Chittenden County prosecutors also are pursuing unrelated sexual-assault charges against Rooney on accusations involving another woman, Levine said during Rooney’s arraignment.

      The allegations

      During the investigation last week into Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance, authorities uncovered evidence implicating Rooney in several acts of sexual misconduct in Caledonia and Essex counties, police have said.

      Law enforcement arrested Rooney on those charges — sexual assault on a victim younger than 16 and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child — Friday in Hardwick.

      The formal charges accuse Rooney of twice assaulting the same girl, first in 1996 when she was 13, and again two years later, while she was staying in St. Johnsbury and nearby East Concord.

      Running as a thread through Claremont’s seven-page affidavit are allegations the two incidents were part of a wider pattern of abuse.

      The charge of lewd and lascivious conduct accuses Rooney of inappropriately touching the girl; the sexual-assault charge involves an alleged rape that left the teen weeping and injured, Claremont wrote.

      “She awoke that night to him jumping on her in the bed, and he forced a rag to her face” that smelled of ether, Claremont wrote. “She quickly passed out.”

      In the morning she found Rooney in the bed, felt weak in her legs, saw physical evidence and believed Rooney had sex with her while she was unconscious, the detective wrote. A subsequent medical examination confirmed that the girl, a virgin, appeared to have had sexual intercourse, Claremont wrote.

      The girl also was treated at a hospital for chemical burns around her mouth, Claremont wrote, but she lied about how she was injured because Rooney was with her.

      She never reported the incidents, though, because Rooney threatened to kill himself, at one point aiming a bow and arrow at his chest, and because the girl thought an allegation would create family problems, Claremont wrote.

      Among other incidents the detective describes in his affidavit are occasions when Rooney tried but failed to incapacitate the girl with a chemical, exposed himself to her, drugged a woman several times and had sex with her, threatened to kill that woman, and lost jobs because of “problems with female coworkers.”

      Court papers also show that Rooney, a father of three daughters, has a criminal record that includes convictions for burglary, violating probation and numerous driving infractions.
      In court

      Rooney wore a button-up black-and-white striped shirt and jeans, and he was handcuffed and shackled during his Monday arraignment, which at nearly an hour was unusually long for a proceeding that typically takes less than five minutes.

      Sleigh, the defense attorney, asked Judge Kathleen Manley to dismiss the charges. He said the state’s case is weak, old and based on evidence that would not be admissible during a trial.

      “There’s simply no evidence that rises above innuendo,” Sleigh said.

      Levine said the allegations were legitimate, substantiated by physical evidence and based on testimony from the alleged victim.

      “The state is proceeding on these charges not as some kind of ruse,” Levine said.

      Manley denied Sleigh’s request by saying there was “more than sufficient evidence” for a jury to convict Rooney.

      The Gardner-Quinn investigation played a significant role in determining bail. Sleigh asked for $50,000 and said suspects in similar sexual-assault cases have been released without bail. Levine countered that the Burlington homicide inquiry provided Rooney an even greater reason to flee, and he asked for $250,000.

      Manley split the difference and set bail at $150,000. Rooney had not posted it as of 9 p.m. and remained at the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury.

    4. Ronald C. Ruloff on October 17th, 2006 2:00 pm

      Something stinks here. I produce a news commentary show and did paralegal work in NYC. One of my street sources tells me Brian Rooney was in the care of Howard Human Services 3 years ago and on anti-psychotic medicine, and that she was afraid of him with his aggressive and fairly nasty disposition, but he never did anything to her as such. But these charges are from 1998 and were never proceeded upon, he didn’t flee, he hasn’t been arrested on sex offense charges and so on. They’re obviously a corrupt legal ploy to put him “in” while a “case” is built against him. The police work by BPD seems to be publishing pictures of his car, a 1996 red Jeep Wrangler, and of a missing earring from Gardner Quinn, plus a missing shoe and her missing cellphone.

      I personally feel whoever did it should get the chair, but picking on the first possible suspect in a city filled to the brim with NGOs, charities that house any number of violent exconvicts and non-exconvicts who could have done this, is not the way to solve the case. For the court to say that the charges and the bail do not concern Gardner-Quinn’s murder but the St. Johnsbury matter is a total hoax and lie, since he is judged a risk to flee because of Gardner-Quinn. His arrest and arraignment are legal garbage. Police resources are extensive, but have discovered virtually nothing in re the murder of this UVM coed.

      If Mr. Rooney is the murderer and they proceed with a weak case and he is acquitted, God help us. At the same time if he is innocent and they convict him, we have an animal on the loose who skated free and will probably do it again.
      Rooney’s antics in supposedly doping or using an ether-like substance to render women unconcious are not far removed from the pills frats sometimes give coeds to get them into bed. If you could see the personal lives of the officers investigating this murder, you might have strong qualms about remaining in Burlington if they are what is protecting us.

      In summary, Rooney’s current arrest and charges are a sham and a put-up job. The court should have thrown them out, held the Calendonia County Prosecutor in contempt of court, and jailed him instead of Rooney. Justice is served by a rational, objective investigation where real facts are elucidated. There is no statute of limitations on this. Vital legal resources are being tied up by Mr Rooney’s being prosecuted on what appear to be bogus charges that cause the sapping of the legal strength of the prosecutor’s office to function on other matters. This serves no one.

      Yes, I want the son of a bitch to hang who did it but this way of going about it is bad.

      Ronald C. Ruloff, Producer, Radio Free Brooklyn, Box 1221, Burlington, VT 05402;

    5. Brenda T. on October 17th, 2006 11:03 pm


      What are you talking about? Sure you aren’t his defense attorney?

      You and your ‘source’ are full of crap. I learned today that the young girl who was RAPED by this creep only came forward to tell her story after seeing his picture on the news and realizing it was the same man who raped her.

      You need to get a clue. The murderer/molester did not run from the 1998 charges because they apparently were not brought up on him until recently. Read Richard’s post and attempt to learn something.

      Geez! Your “source” is obviously your imagination…and a pretty poor one at that. Dude, you are on Scared Monkeys, don’t expect too many people to side with you on this one.


    6. Heather on October 18th, 2006 9:01 pm

      It is extremely scary for me to think of how many times I hung out with Brian Rooney. He lived in the St.Johnsbury area for a while. Never once did I ever feel uneasy around him. Although, if he is responsible for this murder and these rape charges, I agree…give him the chair. I just find it hard to believe that if he is not the murderer then why is his face plastered all over the media.

    7. etta on October 18th, 2006 11:18 pm

      Honestly, I must say that what Ronald is saying raises some valid questions that we should all hope, and can only trust are being considered critically. It appears very likely and possible that Rooney is ‘it.’ But the ‘what if’ has got to be taken into account. Believe me I pray that Rooney is the guilty man, he seems to easily fit the bill. To know that the piece of shit that took a innocent girl’s life has been taken in, and is one less unstable psycho among the many who walk the streets with us daily, hell yeah that soothes tensions ever so slightly. Whether he is Michelle’s murderer or not, it is clear that Brian Rooney is a scumbag who should be punished. A child molester and a rapist –is a extremely sick person whom I believe there is no cure for unfortunately, and have NO sympathy toward.

      The terrifying part is, it seems in a case like this,
      a disappearance where there have yet to be any witnesses, the evidence seems to be one of the main supports that shall confirm Rooney’s guilt or otherwise… I’ve followed this story in the newspapers and online very closely as I’m sure many of us have because it is just to daunting, and eerie how NO ONE saw, or knows, ANYTHING, not one person? Not even at an intersection or a stoplight?
      ????????????? I don’t know that I can believe this…?? Nothing?????????????????????????
      And these items that are missing seem in my mind to be wholely a maker or breaker in this case. The missing items, a sneaker, an earring, a bag with all it’s contents, Michelle’s id cards, a cell phone, all with exact descriptions and pictures to identify them without mistake… It just seems a significant amount of publicly KNOWN and identifiable evidence that is out there somewhere….???
      If and when (hopefully) one or some of these items are recovered/discovered it will obviously reveal more answers or even ‘new’ directions. Now, we are fortunate to have DNA testing which is exacting, although in the Nicole and O.J. Simpson trial DNA evidence was over ruled out…
      My point is although I do commend, respect and pity all equally the Police force that is faced with these types of cases, I have doubted the BPD’s ability and skill level in such a mysterious high crime case as this one. This seems the type of case that should warant/involve highly trained specialists and professionals with experience in these types of crimes.
      I feel awful to say it, but I just don’t know how highly equipped the Burlington Police are to deal with a murder case like Michelle’s with seemingly little to NO evidence, support and clues. This is not to attack the BPD, as they are under a great deal of pressure and scrutiny (including mine) How often do the Burlington Police have to deal with homicide at all..? I can admit that this is not the best outlook, but it has been a doubt in the back of my mind since the first day I saw the poster for Michelle Gardner Quinn’s disappearance.
      With all of my heart I truly wish and pray there to be solid evidence and facts that will come forward in this case to give rest, justice and some sort of closure to Michelle’s poor family and for Michelle.

    8. tex on October 19th, 2006 9:07 pm

      Defense: DNA match links suspect to slain UVM student
      Published: Thursday, October 19, 2006
      The Associated Press

      DNA from a blood sample taken from the pants of the prime suspect in the disappearance of University of Vermont student Michelle Gardner-Quinn has been found to match hers, The Associated Press has learned.

      copied from burlingtonfreepress

    9. Benjamin Fortin on October 29th, 2006 6:29 pm

      It is crimes like these that make me belive in capital punishment. Its too bad that Vermont has no death penalty.

    10. Ronald C. Ruloff on December 30th, 2006 5:19 pm

      Dear All:

      I don’t give out sources. My imagination is not one of them. Mr. Rooney may well be convicted but I strongly suspect his lawyers will have a great appeals case based on legal errors in the investigation. The Constitution is on trial here, along with Mr. Rooney and possibly anyone who is ever indicted as doing this with him.

      Ron Ruloff

    11. Ronald C. Ruloff on February 7th, 2008 11:13 am

      It seems no one wants to comment anymore on this. To clue you in to the competence of the BPD if you are ever so concerned about sexual predators, drug pushers and the like I gave to a Sgt Ward via certified mail a copy of a tape recording of Kurtis Jones saying he wanted a .45 caliber handgun, which I made in early 2001 at the BUrlington Emergency Shelter. The trial of Underhill-Ortiz was a joke because Kurtis was running drugs from the apartment on La Fountain Street and the BPD covered it up to use him as a witness. Both Rhynell Lewis and ORtiz were associates of his in his business venture, which he described in detail the plans for at BES, then went out and did. The .45 used may have been his and he was legally prohibited from owning a firearm. I have other recordings of Kurtis, heavily abused as a child, and I hope to find the ones of his describing his stalking children on Church Street, and , for example, shining a laser pointer in the face of one. I do know something about criminal law. Emmett Helrich, BPD lieutenant, was in charge of the Lewis slaying and didn’t even call me, perhaps because of our long exchange of emails in 2001 et seq in which I informed him in detail of the drug trafficking in the men’s dormitory at BES, and he and the BPD utterly refused to investigate. Instead the heroin addict director of BES, Joe Garbelli, threw me out for recording the drug gang’s threats and deals, and the next day he had to also throw Kurtis out for belting Mary Brothers, who had dared to compare his maturity to that of a five year old.

      Oh, by the way, our current police chief, Mr. Schirling, quashed the investigation of Joe Garbelli for watching kiddie porn at BES. The chairman of the BES board of directors refused to answer questions as to his dismissal. Our current, and new, state safety director, mr Trembley, formerly BPD chief, told me during a city council meeting the investigation of the kiddie porn matter was dismissed because BES said I was doing it in retaliation for being thrown out. I was doing it to close that hole.

      No charges or violation of probation were brought against Kurtis Jones for belting Mary Brothers, very possibly because the chairman of the bes board, George Schiavone, was in the process of moving from the Vermont legislature to serving on the Republican National Committee, and one phone call from him to the state’s attorney’s office would quash such. He didn’t need the bad publicity of both an assault on a woman at BES and the director, aside from doing eight or twelve years (whatever) in NJ’s state prison system for heroin sales, was also a kiddie porn afficiando. All in a day’s work for a church-sponsored charity.

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